Post # 1
Wedding vendors make me so angry, especially caterers. Can someone explain to me how my catering estimate starts around $8000-9500 and ends up being over $14,000. Its seriously insane. I feel like they are trying to scam you right and left!
Post # 3
When caterers quote you, they usually quote for all things basic. Adding a little bit of this or a little bit of that can just rack up a higher bill.
If you havent signed a contract, just keep looking around. Hopefully you will be able to find a vendor who can do things a bit cheaper.
Post # 4
I think a lot of people calculate the price of the meal per head, then get really overwhelmed once rentals, staff, delivery, linens, etc are calculated in.
Really, this is no scam, and it’s expensive but you need to be willing to pay for all services rendered.
Post # 5
Catering quotes are high because catering is expensive.
1st there is the food, the raw ingredients.
2nd there is the staff (both kitchen and wait staff)
3rd there is all the implements needed to serve and eat the meal which usually have to be rented
4th there is the clean up (more hourly wages for staff)
Also, many caterers will help arrange things like table/chair rentals ($$), linen rentals ($$), etc.
Post # 6
youch! yeah well quotes are what they are: Estimates. when it really gets down to it, all that stuff adds up! 🙁
Post # 7
My caterer was very upfront at our tasting about the total cost. That is, in part, why we booked him as we were very comfortable. I knew before signing exactly how much the service fee was, how much each spoon, glass, dish, etc cost. So the final number did not come as a shock!
Post # 8
The quote included staff and everything (except for rentals but I was expecting this to raise the price). Im mad about things like this:
We talked multiple times about the event, how it would go, times, etc. and she included staff in the original quote. She comes back later and says “oh I didnt know you were having a six hour reception.” and increased the staff cost by a lot. Problem is: she definitely knew how long our reception was, she just low balled the number to appease us at the beginning (but we had no idea that the thousands we were paying for service didnt cover our time)
@Roe: I thought she was very upfront as well. We told her a number we would comfortable staying at and she said “oh we can definitely do that” no, apparently she cant
@tranquility: my wedding is in two months and I live in a small area. no way I would even find a new caterer!
Post # 9
@maggiemay0811: Then better start negotiating. Caterers are not immune to negotiating prices. If you have to modify what you’re getting so it’s more affordable, find a way to use less staff, or call her out on her bullsh*t.
Did you already sign with her? What does your quote/contract say? If it doesn’t say 4 hours @ $125 per staff (or something) as a line item, instead is says like total staff subtotal @ $1200 then she can’t say ‘oh I didn’t know’. She quoted at that rate and she should stick with that rate. Sounds like a bait and switch to me.
Post # 10
I think some vendors fall prey to their own industry — meaning, their perspective on cost and the addition of details is a little skewed after working so many events. If you need to, meet with the caterer and bring the contract and a list of your questions/pricing issues. Don’t leave until you have a firm number for each question, write it all out, and ask for a new contract to reflect the decisions you made.
If they can’t adjust things to work within your real budget, it’s time to look around for someone else. And ditto PPs who suggested negotiation: don’t just do it dollar-by-dollar, talk about substituting X for Y instead. Many vendors are more inclined to budge on “stuff” rather than numbers.
Post # 11
I know of the area you are from and unless you are getting married in a hotel or something 5 star I can not fathom how in the world catering would run you that much. That is insanity!
Post # 12
There’s also the convenience factor to raise your prices. Caterers tend to have a high markup on china/linen/tableware rental; you can always use your own vendor for that (if your venue and caterer contracts don’t prohibit it) but then you have another vendor to select, another check to write, another company to chase down on The Day Of…
Post # 13
Im talking to my wedding planner about it. I went back to the original invoice and the one i have now
these are the OBVIOUS mark ups i found
1. our original quote had no charge for ice- now it is $75
2. our original quote was $96 per bartender, now its $140
3. our original quote had 0 for bar set up, now its $100
of course add the digusting 20 percent catering fee on top of all of those..
and nothing has changed, same venue (which she is familar with), bar plan, etc.
So, we will see what happens. Im livid that she just changed the prices on things
Post # 14
Um, just no. Sick your planner on it!
Post # 15
Wedding vendors charge what they do because they know people will pay it and will not shop around anywhere for a better deal since they believe that these are the only vendors anywhere who will offer them the services they want. Contrary to popular belief, a wedding is not more complicated than a family reunion or corporate luncheon, thus no logical or justifiable reason at all why it should cost more.
Ask these places point blank why they charge more for a wedding (they won’t tell you they’re ripping you off but they are). Then take your business elsewhere.
Post # 16
@Ember78: I was thinking about this the other day. I was like hmm there is no way people pay this much for catering for just a plain event. Why are weddings more. Its riduclous!